Japan's Rugby World Cup unveils mythical, lion-like mascots

A pair of official mascots of Rugby World Cup 2019 "Ren-G," (Ren, left, and G, right) which were introduced officially throw and catch a rugby ball in Tokyo Friday, Jan. 26, 2018. Rugby World Cup 2019 will take place in twelve venues in Japan from Sept. 20 until Nov. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
A pair of official mascots of Rugby World Cup 2019 "Ren-G," (Ren, in white, and G, in red), Rugby World Cup 2019 Executive Director Rob Abernethy, right, and Rugby World Cup 2019 Organizing Committee President and CEO Akira Shimazu, second right, prepare for photo session after "Ren-G" were introduced officially in Tokyo Friday, Jan. 26, 2018. Rugby World Cup 2019 will take place in twelve venues in Japan from Sept. 20 until Nov. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
A pair of official mascots of Rugby World Cup 2019 "Ren-G", (Ren, left, and G, right) are introduced officially in Tokyo Friday, Jan. 26, 2018. Rugby World Cup 2019 will take place in twelve venues in Japan from Sept. 20 until Nov. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO — The 2019 Rugby World Cup has its mascots: Two mythical, lion-like creatures that were believed in ancient Japan to chase away evil and bring happiness.

The Japanese mascots, named "Ren" and "G," were unveiled on Friday by tournament organizers.

Similar depictions often appear in traditional Japanese theater. Ren is the parent, and G is the offspring. Organizers said the two were genderless.

Rob Abernethy, the general manager of the Rugby World Cup, said the winning entry was whittled down from about 50.

"It's a very good choice," he said.

The Rugby World Cup, the first in Asia, opens next year on Sept. 20 and closes with the final on Nov. 2 in Yokohama.

Must Read

Pavlyuchenkova, Gavrilova advance to Hong Kong semis

Oct 13, 2017

The highest ranked player left in the Hong Kong Open, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia has beaten...

Federer beats Nadal to win Shanghai Masters title

Oct 15, 2017

Roger Federer extended his winning streak over Rafael Nadal this year to four matches after beating...

Siniakova beats Sharapova to reach Shenzhen Open final

Jan 5, 2018

Defending champion Katerina Siniakova beats Maria Sharapova in Shenzhen Open semifinal to set up...

For most of the F1 teams, 4th place is as good as it gets

Apr 13, 2018

For most of the Formula One 'also-ran' teams, 4th place is as good as it gets

Defending champion Axelsen advances at badminton worlds

Aug 1, 2018

Defending world champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark beat Huang Yuxiang 21-17, 21-8 Wednesday to...

AseanCoverage is a next-gen news site focusing exclusively on online news from South East Asia.

Contact us: sales[at]aseancoverage.com